Many complain of the coyote population, its damage to livestock and our deer herds. Five members of the Carrabassett Valley Trappers removed 78 coyotes from the woods this fall. While this may seem like a large amount, it isn’t. The coyote population remains high in the areas trapped; but many more deer will make it through another winter because of their efforts.
These coyotes were taken during the early canine season that starts approximately two weeks prior to the beginning of the deer hunting season. The trappers stop most of their coyote trapping with the beginning of deer season simply because a few hunters have a habit of shooting coyotes in traps. There are approximately 2,000 licensed trappers in the state of Maine, most of which stop the bulk of their coyote trapping with the start of deer season.
The act of interfering with trapping is against the law. If caught an individual may lose their right to hunt and pay large fines, along with the loss of all licensing done by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Game. Trappers can’t afford to run trap lines with the gas prices of today and the value of furs down from what they were just a few years ago if other users of the out of doors damage their furs and equipment.
Imagine the coyotes these five trappers could take if they trapped the whole trapping season. The growing predator populations along with several recent bad winters have hurt our game populations which will take many years to recover. Trappers are the farmers and hunters best bet in the control of coyotes.
The Carrabassett Valley Trappers are an independent group of trappers. Most are life members of the Maine Trappers Association (MTA) and urge all trappers to join the MTA.
Lexington Twp., Maine